Archive for February, 2012

Here at the Sound Hound, I predicted the Grammy outcomes perfectly!  9/9.  If you want to see who I chose, check out the article I posted a few weeks ago.  Last year, my predictions, which were published in my school paper, were incorrect for all except for Best Rap Album of the year, which I said would be Eminem for Recovery.  Naturally, I’m a little more satisfied with my outcome.

Now as for the performances, I was decently impressed.  The Foo Fighters, of course, rocked both alone and with Deadmau5, though I was not as baffled as I usually am by them, probably because this was not their show: they were not the headliners, although they were up for 6, I believe, Grammys and appeared three times.  Deadmau5 should have let them keep playing.  I’d rather have heard the rest of “Rope” then a snippet of “Raise your Weapon.”

And how can I forget Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s opener, “We Take Care of Our Own?”  That song has gotten mixed reviews but I actually like it a bit.  The version from the Grammys is actually really great and I gained a lot of respect for the tune after seeing it performed live.

Adele completely nailed Rolling in the Deep (but how could she not be used to singing it by now.)

Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj’s performances were extremely weird, too much so for me.  Minaj completely neglected the killer chorus of “Roman’s Revenge” (Rah Rah like a dungeon dragon!) and a great feature from either Eminem or Lil Wayne.

Speaking of Weezy, the performance with David Guetta, Chris Brown and Wayne was less than impressive.  Wayne could have been a lot better.  Chris Brown’s solo performance also failed to impress me.

The best part of the night for me was the Paul McCartney’s grand finale, a medley of Abbey Road songs featuring guitar monsters such as Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Joe Walsh and McCartney himself.  Every guitarist brought their own personality, agression and musical talent to the performance and it would have been different and worse if any one of them were absent.  I also want to give a shoutout to the lead guitarist of McCartney’s band who really blew me away.  Great show by all.

Solid Grammy Night this year.  I was pretty happy with the outcomes (but it would have been nice to see the Foos take Album of the Year.)

The Tension (from their facebook page)

The Tension, an up-and-coming band from New York City, clearly falls under the “rock” category, but the band harnesses so many sounds that it becomes difficult to categorize them in any one subgenre of rock.  Think of something like a mix between Soundgarden, Queens of the Stoneage, Muse with some punk and metal thrown into the mix.   The quintet harnesses various sounds on their debut album, The Tension, which was produced by Tomato and was released in October 2011.

The opening track, “Come Out and Play” sets a precedent for the type of music on the record: ominous alternative/hard rock that builds up to a hard, jammy breakdown.  “Come Out and Play,” which stands as one of The Tensions finest pieces of work, displays a set of tight, aggressive musicians.  Vocalist Jack Staffen sings like the lyrics are about to burst out of his chest before they even reach his mouth.  In fact, it’s pretty difficult to put a finger on Staffen.  His voice does not sound like any one singer specifically, yet he has taken many styles and aspects of many and put them together in his own rip-roaring prototype.  Drummer Damien Shane Moffitt whips out some dominating fills and rhythms that bassist Gabriel Simon and Jack Moulton and Daniel Risdon only compliment with an attack of brutal bass and twin lead guitars.

Another standout of the album is “All Hope is Gone,” which begins with one of Simon’s tight basslines.  Unlike the previous song, “All Hope” blasts right into an energetic track after ten seconds.  The guitar work on this song is a little more intricate than that of “Come Out” as Moulton and Risdon work in harmony with each other, using various effects like the “wah-wah.”  “All Hope is Gone” is by far the tightest, most single-worthy song on the album.

The Tension progresses through seven more powerful, dark and really bada*s sounding songs, highlights of which include the softer “Jaded,” the poppy “Window Pane” and the metal “1984.”  “1984” rips through the speakers with a riff worthy of the mighty Metallica and then switches to sound more like System of a Down (minus Serj Tankiens crazy vocal stylings,) which is pretty cool and interesting from a listener’s point of view.

The beauty of The Tension and their music is that lately a lot of modern rock bands have swayed towards making softer, less metal-based music.  Hard rockers tend to either put out death-metal tunes or power-punky stuff.  Few bands still make heavy, guitar based rock and roll that used to show up in record stores.  The Tension are one of those bands that do.

Check out The Tension’s music at their Facebook page and be sure to look out for updates about new music and shows.  (They are in fact playing at Webster Hall tomorrow 2/12/12 at 3PM.)